“Spirit” of the Site Captured in Vina Robles Hospitality Center

As all experienced architects know, the successful outcome of any project is truly a team effort. It takes great people, great products and great design to make it all come together.

Over the last two years, this creative process occurred as it should in the construction of a beautiful new Hospitality Center at Vina Robles Winery that opened its doors in July of 2007. It is home to the estate-grown wines of Vina Robles, showcasing both the distinctive flavors of Paso Robles and the winery’s Swiss heritage. The winery is located in the heart of the dynamic Paso Robles wine country, approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s Central Coast.

Tim Woodle of Pults & Associates Architectural firm in San Luis Obispo, California was the lead architect on the project. “I believe the architecture of any project must be rooted in the place, the nature of the site,” he says. “This applies not only to the physical properties such as slopes, sun, winds and vistas, but in the intangibles, the spirit or essence of a site, and I believe we’ve accomplished that at Vina Robles.”

“We’ve created a quiet elegance with clear ties to the history of the region,” continues Woodle. “Hand toweled plaster walls, hand-mortared tiles, hewn timbers and a generous use of Eldorado Stone combines to create a real sense of place and a sense of permanence. This is achieved using building forms and proportions that are familiar and solid, yet comfortable.”

The Hospitality Center is 14,000 sf, creating a prominent position on the property, but it does not shout. The project was designed to include several distinctive and highly functional areas that include a retail store, tasting rooms and various spaces for entertaining. The facility combines classic California Mission-style design with modern European elegance. A banquet room known as the Signature Room boasts a unique balance of modern luxury and old world charm. Its vaulted ceilings, large pictures windows and cutting-edge audiovisual technology make it an ideal location for a variety of special events. A circular courtyard with a three-tiered fountain is available for smaller gatherings up to 100 guests. The Petite Terrace offers a state-of-the-art barbecue island and an outdoor seating area for up to 80 guests.

“Our intent was to create a facility that provided a strong presence to those traveling the highway, but also creating intimate scale and a personal sense of place for visitors,” says Woodle. “The materiality, mass, and generous porticos combine to create a structure that performs well in the Paso Robles climate. The same natural factors (hot days, cool nights) which craft Vina Robles wines, in large part crafted the structure.”

“We’re extremely pleased with the results,” says Hans Michel, owner of Vina Robles Winery. “Our goal is to craft world class, elegant wines of the region and the Hospitality Center’s design is a reflection of our character and purpose.”

The center is the first of many planned phases of construction at Vina Robles. Future plans include a multi-story hotel complex on site with detached private bungalows and full-service spa to make the location a beautiful and luxurious destination point for the burgeoning wine industry.

Eldorado Stone’s blend of Molano Hillstone and Fieldledge profiles with an overgrout technique was used on more than 60 percent of the exterior and on accent walls along with a massive fireplace in the interior. “We chose Eldorado Stone because it’s so authentic looking,” says Woodle. “It allowed us to create the look we desired as well as save time in installation. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s a friendly product from an engineering and structural perspective in terms of meeting California earthquake-safe building codes.”

The Center was constructed by Specialty Construction, Inc. of San Luis Obispo. Steve Haymaker, VP of Commercial Construction was pleased with the way the stone installation turned out. “Patrick Cordova from Artistic Brick and his crew from Orcutt, California did a fantastic job,” he says. “The process went pretty smoothly once they got started. We had several different components of the construction process going on simultaneously, so we’re happy to see how the whole thing came together so beautifully, knowing we achieved the look and feel of what the architect was trying to create. It’s been a great project with great people at every level who helped make the overall vision a reality,” he says.

“It’s extremely satisfying for all of us at Eldorado Stone to know that we have played a role in helping to create such a timeless and beautiful destination for visitors to Vina Robles to enjoy,” says Brent Spann, VP of Marketing at Eldorado Stone. “It is truly projects like these that make our work so rewarding.”

Eldorado Stone Profile Featured: Molano Hillstone
Architect: Tim Woodle of Pults and Associates
Website:  www.pults.com
Contractor: Specialty Construction, San Luis Obispo, CA
Website:  www.specialtyconstruction.com
Phone: 805-543-1706
Mason: Artistic Brick, Orcutt, CA
Phone: 805-934-4340

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